Friday June 24 2011
Lotito: 'Olimpico fee is extortion'

Claudio Lotito has accused the CONI of “extortion” after a tribunal ruled Lazio must pay debts or leave the Stadio Olimpico.

The President has so far refused to hand over the outstanding €2m in protest at the contract for use of the stadium, which was signed under the previous administration.

Today the tribunal in Rome ruled in favour of the CONI (Italian National Olimpic Committee), who own the Stadio Olimpico.

“The fact the Olimpico is the only stadium in Rome that meets the safety standards does not allow the CONI to tell us either we accept these conditions or we don't play,” blasted Lotito.

“This type of attitude is basically extortion and we will make our voices heard.”

The CONI have threatened to refuse Lazio permission to play at the Olimpico this season in Serie A, the Coppa Italia and Europa League.

The Biancocelesti already moved to cover themselves by registering the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence as the venue for their home games with UEFA.

CONI President Gianni Petrucci did not waste time in responding to Lotito's accusations.

“I have never heard a director express himself in this way against the highest sporting institution in Italy,” slammed Petrucci.

“At least we agree on one thing: we'll go before a judge to decide who is right.”

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